Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WNBP: The Apple Of My Eye

Greetings and a happy Wednesday to all.  I say that with an inordinate amount of optimism given that my internet connection is a bit dicey at the moment.  In all likelihood, I will not be able to even publish this due to my having heaved a router out the window.  That will probably be followed by a keyboard and a monitor if it gets to that point.

It is a shame, really.  I have lots of good things to report this week and it surely would be nice to share.  I suppose I should take a nice deep breath, channel my inner patient person and just give it a go.  Perhaps the internet will allow me a Wednesday Night Bullet Post given the circumstances.

If not, then you can read all about me on the news.  If nothing else, you will have received an update of sorts...

*Niece Sheep had me a bit nervous with her premature labor, but things settled down in time for us to pull off her baby shower last Saturday.

*No.  I did not finish the baby blanket.

*For those of you who spend your sleepless nights wondering if Sheepie still knits, rest assured.

*I do.

*I even finished a couple of things in time to gift my soon-to-be-great-niece.

*I am not really a Baby Person.

*I find babies perplexing and lacking in conversational skills.

*That said, I almost came undone when I finished these:

Wee, darling little baby hats!

*I had a brief moment of complete cute overload and only came to myself after having Googled "fertility treatments for the very old and desperate."

*Thankfully, common sense returned before I did anything crazy.

*Sadly the skull buttons I planned for the baby sweater were too small and I had to go with the butterflies instead.

I guess it was for the best...

*Having not really done much in the way of needlework lately, I went with a the simplest of patterns.

*The shower guests were all non-knitters so I looked pretty brilliant in spite of it all.

*My niece asked me if, after knitting for two boys, I was glad for a change in color schemes.

*I hate to admit it, not being much of a pink type, but I really did enjoy this!

*Sweaters and hats...probably not going to be the most useful of things now.

*Baby is coming early.  There is no doubt about it.

*I am thinking good thoughts for an early and frigid autumn.

*Or the rampant use of air conditioning.

*I had to be quick at the Farmers Market this morning.

*I was expecting a package and didn't want to miss the truck.

*I meant to get some fruit, but I forgot what with all the excitement.

*I just got the tomatoes and green beans.

*Then I sat at home staring at the driveway.

*Looking for trucks.

*And wishing I had some fruit...

*My life is kind of powered by the good people at Apple.

*Computer?  Mac.

*Tablet?  iPad.

*Mp3 player?  iPod.

*But my cell phone?  Blackberry.

*Wrong fruit.

*I've been wanting to get an iPhone for a long time.  It really made sense considering the overall operating systems here.

*But they are spendy and sometimes a girl has to be practical.

*Even my wireless carrier was concerned about my old, clunky 2G phone.

*At least one would assume that considering the amount of email and snail mail I was getting from them urging an upgrade before I became utterly obsolete.

*I don't spend a lot of money on cell phones.  And I tend to get a little clingy with them.

*I also forget to charge them so it is really kind of a useless thing upon which to spend my hard earned cash.

*I always charge my iPod because it has my sounds of relaxation app on it and I can't sleep without that.

*A charged iPod does little good when a person is stranded on the highway and the zombie apocalypse has begun.

*That, in and of itself, was reason to by an iPhone.

*Which I did, but don't be too impressed.  I stuck to my miserly ways.

*It is the old 3G model that you can get for pretty much nothing.

*I think you can even find them in cereal boxes now...

*Still better than my old phone and I'm pretty sure I will charge it more regularly.

*Now I can sleep to the sounds of nature while the phone charges and be fully prepared for the undead hordes come morning.

*I really enjoyed reading Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter).

*It is rough and I can see where some people found it to be a bit unpolished, but I felt that added to the charm.

*There is a great line in the second chapter about how stakeouts are really boring because you can't knit or anything.

*Deacon Chalk doesn't knit.  I'm certain of that.  He was probably being ironic or something.

*But still a great line...

*I love urban fantasy and, oddly enough, prefer the stories with a male protagonist.

*Hard to find nowadays, what with the genre being more focused on the female fighters for good these days.

*I've been meaning to read Chimera for a while now.  I like Rob Thurman's other novels.

*I just never got to it.

*Until I ran out of other options.  Then I did.

*Really good stuff.  The writing is much more crisp than in the Cal Leandros series given that the narrator is a bit older, I think.

*I liked it so much that I read it in a day and picked up the next one immediately.

*I'd link to that title if the internet was cooperating at the moment, but it is not.

*The internet apparently prefers us to be illiterate and capable only of texting.

*Actually, I don't think the internet really feels that way but I was starting to get that pesky urge to fling routers and needed to vent a bit lest disaster strike.

*This may be a good time to wrap it up, now that I think of it.

*Perhaps the whole slow connection deal is a sign that things could always get worse.

So, on that note, I shall spell check this sucker and see about saving it in forty seven different places lest I lose it.  I'm certain that the internet will eventually sort itself out.  It should.  It is the least it can do for me.

I did, after all, feed it several Apples today...


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WNBP: Move Or Melt

We've been experiencing some rather hot and humid weather over here in my corner of the globe.  This has resulted in an overwhelming desire to simply lie on the sofa and give up.  The fact that melting into the sofa cushions is a distinct possibility doesn't matter a whit.  Melting is a easier when the humidity is so thick that walking to the fridge to get a glass of water is like traveling through gelatin.

You kind of just give up the will to remain cohesive.

I fought it, though.  I did my best to ignore the steamy conditions and keep moving.  I figure that walking through viscous air burns more calories.  That should justify the amount of ice cream I've been eating lately.

Here's what I've been up to in Wednesday Night Bullet Post format:

*I already mentioned the heat.

*And I think I may have also touched upon the humidity.

*It really wasn't all that bad until the last couple of days, truth be told.  I think that I'd used up the last bit of cold air by then and there was nothing left but sticky stuff.

*I held up better than the fan in the back bedroom, though.

*It did its best but I felt like it might be time to retire it.

*Pieces of the grill kept falling off and clattering around in a most alarming fashion.

*That is a key fan here at the manse.  It is in the room that has shade and that is the coolest air available.

*I need a fan that isn't consuming itself on a regular basis.

*Bought a new fan today.  Fans are popular right now, but there were plenty to go around.

*I guess there wasn't much call for non-self-destructing-box-fans-to-go-in-shady-windows...

*The weather people say that the heat will break tonight and temps will fall markedly.

*I plan on sleeping on the lawn in my underwear.  That seems perfectly reasonable and I would be willing to bet that there will be loads of people doing it.

*Met the parents and several other Sheepish relatives for the monthly family lunch today.

*The retired folk get to go all the time.

*The non-retired folk get to go in the summer.

*Excellent lunch and I always enjoy getting to go places where I am the youngest person at the table.

*I am a woman closer to 50 than 40 and I refuse to apologize for enjoying the little things these days.

*It also amuses me to hear my mother tell my great aunt that she will remind her about the next scheduled luncheon through Facebook.

*Mommy Sheep was on FB long before I.  She is cooler.  I accept that.

*I went to the Farmers Market last week.

*I bought cucumbers.

Which, logically, had to become relish.

*OK.  It is reasonable to think that a single person might not need 7 half pints of relish.  Very reasonable, in fact.

*But I like relish and I maybe went a little overboard buying cucumbers so there you go.

*I went to the Farmers Market again today.

*I bought carrots, potatoes and tomatoes.

*I did not buy cucumbers.

*I also made some more plum sauce while I was canning last week.  Remember when I made that back in April?

*I gave one to The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach as a hostess gift and proceeded to scarf down the rest myself.

*Plums went on sale last week.  Seemed like a good time to make more sauce...

*We have accepted that my niece is going to have her baby kind of early.

*I have further accepted that I am not going to finish that baby blanket in time.  There is only so much time in the day and only so much limberness in the digits.

*I did not do a gauge swatch for this blanket.  I did not do this because it is a blanket.  An inch or two either way doesn't matter on a blanket.

*I was off by a heck of a lot more than an inch or two.

*Now, in order for this blanket to be in proportion, I need to knit a lot more than I figured.

*The baby shower is Saturday.

*The mother-to-be insists on randomly going in and out of labor.  I find this disconcerting and highly inconvenient.  And what baby wants to be born in this ridiculous heat and humidity anyway???

*I've done the math.  I've considered all the variables.

*I'm not going to finish the blankie on time.

*Good thing I screwed up the gauge.  Now Baby G can take it to college and it should fit a dorm bed nicely.

*It is like I planned it all along!

*I'd already ordered my lunch today when I was struck with a horrible realization.

*I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.

*If I am going to be stepping on a scale in front of real live humans, then today's meal planning really needs to be carefully considered.  I virtuously removed my chicken from the bun that surrounded it and limited my cole slaw consumption.

*That said, I still ate all my fries.

*If worst comes to worst, I can always "accidentally" bump into the scale, causing it to crash to the floor or perhaps out a handily located window.

*Or maybe I've melted enough to justify the french fries...

*I stopped on the way to the restaurant to purchase buttons for the baby sweater that I kinda-sorta-closer-than-the-giant-blankie-anyway-finished.

*If putting skull buttons on a baby sweater is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

*I'll fight anyone who tells me different!!!

*They are pink (ish) so it will all be fine.

*I've been somewhat stymied with reading material of late, but I did find a good one to share with you.

*The Doomsday Vault: A Novel of the Clockwork Empire.

*Stumbled across it as a recommendation during a desperate cruise through Amazon.

*Very good.  A few folks seemed to have some problems with it and I will admit to a bit of repetition regarding the protagonist's background early on in the story.

*But, overall, I was very pleased with it!

*There are zombies, but they are the Not Dead, Just Sickly variety.

*Hence they seem more pitiful than scary.

*Frankly, I was intrigued by the idea of plague-induced "Clockworkers."

*There is a sequel, but I don't have it yet.

*Will let you know if I do.

*Gonna give Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter) a try first.

*Frankly,it will be pleasant to read anything while resisting the melting effect.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a somewhat comprehensive list of the things I have done to avoid becoming a puddle.  The trick is to just keep moving and not let the desire to give up and just start dripping get the better of you.  It also helps to have things like relish and lunch with family to look forward to.

Failing that, a good and intact fan is always inspirational...


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WNBP: I'm Being Berry Good

I know I complain about calendar dysfunction more than I should, but this time it is very serious.  I honestly don't have the foggiest notion what day it is on a regular basis now.  It all got really bad last Wednesday when, due to the holiday, I decided it was Sunday.

I've been hopelessly off track ever since.

To make matters worse, I'm coming into this week's Wednesday Night Bullet Post woefully unprepared.  I know that the quality of this blog has suffered over the past year or so, but I honestly do try to think up a few things before I put fingers to keyboard even on my worst of writing days.  Today? Not so much.  Were it not for the helpful reminders provided by the television programming guide I consulted a few moments ago, I would have let this whole thing go without a backwards glance.

I'll do my best to come up with something kinda-sorta-sense-making...

*I woke up this morning feeling kind

*Not sick exactly.

*In spite of the raging allergies I seem to be experiencing this summer...

*No...just "off."

*I couldn't figure out just what was out of whack until I spent some time reviewing my dietary choices of late and then it hit me.

*I've been a little heavy on the carbs and protein lately.

*And disturbingly light on the fruits and veggies.

*As in "I think I had some watermelon a few days ago but, otherwise, I am a poster child for scurvy."

*I remembered it was Wednesday this morning even though I forgot by the afternoon.

*Wednesday is the day of the Weekly Visit With The Vegetables.

*Farmer's Market.

*Today, I went with a mission.

*After purchasing the prerequisite garlic and basil followed by the cukes I shall need to make relish this week, I went on a fruit hunt.

*There is little in the way of fruit this early, but there were berries.  I got "blue" and "rasp."

*The latter required that I take out a second mortgage, but it will be worth it if I can get myself back in some sort of equilibrium.

*Berries are not going to help my sinuses but you can't expect fruit to do everything.

*I am very serious when I tell you that, if I have to knit another inch of pink and green houndstooth pattern, I shall go utterly mad.

*Keep an eye on the news people.

*Because I have, by my estimation, another 15 inches to go.

*Plus a border but that's not houndstooth so I think I'll get through that.

*I call this the Hounds (of Hell) Tooth Pattern.

*This situation is my own fault.  I underestimated the time before the deadline.

*Not to mention overestimating my ability to produce vast amounts of pink and green houndstooth in sport weight yarn.

*I am seriously reduced to wearing a wrist brace now.

*Wrist went numb due to excessive panicked purling.

*I love my Very Complicated Kitty.

*And am grateful that he now lets me sleep until 6:00 in the morning as opposed to enforcing the school year schedule.

*But I found his reaction to my slumbering until 6:10 a little bit of an overreaction.

*Bit me hard enough to leave a bruise.

*The VCK is a biter.  He bites out of love.  He bites out of irritation.  He bites out of boredom.

*Those bites I can tolerate.

*The hunger bites are not working for me.

*How hungry must he be to start in on my forearm?????

*Feline Initiated Behavior Modification.  

*In between gulping down blueberries, frantic knitting and explaining to my cat that I am most certainly not on the menu, I've been getting in a bit of reading.

*After reading the first in the Dante Valentine series, I decided to spring for the omnibus edition and just get through the whole series.

*Wrapped up To Hell and Back (Dante Valentine, Book 5) last night.

*I was stuck for a bit after that, but then remembered that another new book in a series I started last summer was out.  Actually has been for a while, but I got distracted by other stuff.

*So I'm rereading Johannes Cabal the Necromancer and Johannes Cabal the Detective.

*That way I can be ready to enjoy Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal 3).

*These books raise the concept of Snarky Anti-hero to a new high.

*Johannes has maybe one and the three quarters of a redeeming quality.

*But I love him anyway.

*Enjoying the reread!

*Except for the guilt I feel over not knitting or feeding the cats when I should.

*And not eating a balanced diet like Mommy Sheep taught me...

Well, it's back to the grind for me.  I promised myself five inches of (Hell)houndstooth before bedtime and I know I'm due for another dose of berries.  Plus I see a couple of cats and I don't like the look the chubby one is giving me.  I think it is almost the dinner hour by their reckoning.

Time to be on my best behavior


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

WNBP: Let Freedom Ring!

Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans!  It is the 4th of July and I somehow managed to remember that today is Wednesday.  That is actually more of an achievement than you might think considering how lost I've been regarding the days of the week.  Frankly, the Wednesday Night Bullet Post is the only thing anchoring me at all.

I am not distressed by this, however.  Having to rely so heavily on prime time television programming to figure out the difference between Monday and Friday means that I have finally gotten the hang of this summer vacation thing.  I like it when that happens.

Here's your bullet points for this week:

*As I said before, Happy Independence Day!  We do love us a good Fourth of July over here!

*It means having a cookout at Mommy and Daddy Sheep's house.

*Oh and that whole "winning our independence as a country" thing...

*This year's gathering was quite small, consisting of myself, the 'rents and Niece Sheep.

*NS is really two people these days given that she is with child.

*But little Baby G isn't really much of a conversationalist so I don't think she counts.

*I'm not casting aspersions or anything.  No one who hasn't been born yet is all that chatty.

*Too bad there weren't more folks there.  The steak was the best I've had in a looooong time.

*Wait.  Strike that.  It is a good thing that it was a small gathering.  More steak for me!!

*I finally got my hair cut on Saturday.

*The poor World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach was horrified by the state of my tresses.

*She had surgery and couldn't stand up for a while.

*Hence, I have not had a trim since January.

*We made plans to go out for lunch on Monday.

*Which we did.  There was sushi involved.

*For the record, I did not wish to shop.  I am currently being a Very Responsible Adult regarding my money.

*But TWGSALC is nothing if not a very bad influence.

*Plus I'm growing my hair out and I don't think she approves so I felt I had to shop with her to make up for my follicular rebellion.

*God, it's hot in here.

*Everything was cool 'n comfy until the thunderstorm started and I had to take the fans out the windows.

*We are now in a very muggy kind of situation.

*I wonder if the torrential downpours will affect the amount of fireworks terrifying my Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty tonight...

*Doubtful.  The recent decision to make fireworks legal is probably going to lead to some celebrating.

*My town chose to ban the personal use of fireworks.  No one really seems to care.

*The novelty of it all hasn't worn off yet.

*No Farmer's Market today.  It is a holiday.

*One cannot visit with the vegetables on a holiday.

*One might consider going on Saturday if one can get her keister out of bed to do so.

*Or remember that it is Saturday at all...

*I am so totally on vacation now.  Freedom!

*But I'll probably forget a lot of appointments...

*I've started knitting again.

*Alert the media.

*It's been a long time since I've knit like this.

*I think I missed knitting.

*I also think I forgot a lot of important knitting-related information.

*Let's hope I can recall this stuff before the need to do a provisional cast-on presents itself!

*I realized today how lax I've been with blog commentary.

*I had a schedule of sorts during the school year, but it kind of fell apart once the summer vacation got closer.

*Apologies to all those I've neglected.  I'll try to do better!

*I was struggling to find something new to read after I finished  Blackout (The Newsflesh Trilogy).

*The downside of reading a smartly written book is that so many others will pale in comparison.

*There were a few duds to which I'm not even going to bother linking.

*Then I stumbled upon Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, Book 1)

*Cheap download.

*Not as good as Mira Grant's series, but still quite compelling.

*Fair warning:  This book openly challenges common religious beliefs and might not be a good choice for those who have strong feelings about that.

*I understand if that is a deal breaker.  I have certain topics that make a book intolerable to me so no judgement here.

*But, the world the author built is an interesting one and fits with the tone of the novel.

*I liked it so much I bought the series.  (Dante Valentine: The Complete Series)

*I'm up to the third book now.

*I like being on vacation and free to read whenever I want!

*Although, at the moment, I think I might be less than free.

*If I don't go open the windows back up, I am going to die.

*Which will seriously impact The Feline Feeding Frenzy and that simply will not do.

It really does look as if the worst of the thunderstorm has passed so I think I will get some air circulating in here before I expire.  I might be all footloose and fancy free, but that doesn't mean I don't have one or two obligations.  Feeding Da Boyz is not negotiable.

Plus I think there is some leftover steak waiting for this particular free citizen!